Howl at the moon! The first full moon of 2024 will grace the night sky this Thursday kicking off the longest moon phase of the year. January’s full moon is most commonly referred to as the wolf moon.
January Full Moon
Known as the wolf moon, the name comes from the howling of wolves during this time of year. According to Farmers Almanac, howling and other wolf vocalizations are heard in the wintertime to locate pack members, reinforce social bonds, define territory, and coordinate hunting.
Other names for January’s moon, named by Native American tribes, refer to the cold weather in the season. The names include severe moon, cold moon, freeze up moon, and frost exploding moon.
Center moon – named for the moon occurring roughly in the center of the winter – is also an alternative name other than wolf moon.
A full moon occurs when the moon is located on the opposite side of the Earth to the Sun. The face of the Moon facing towards the Earth will be entirely illuminated by the Sun’s rays.
The wolf moon will reach peak illumination on Thursday, January 25, 2024, at 12:54 P.M.EST. However, it will be most visible in the evening.
Look for the January Moon to rise from the eastern horizon around sunset that evening. By midnight, the Wolf Moon glows bright and round overhead.
By sunrise, it will disappear into the western horizon.
The Next Full Moon
After Thursday’s wolf moon, the next full moon will occur on Feb. 24. This moon is called a snow moon because of the large snowfalls that often occur in February.
It will be the final full moon before the arrival of astronomical spring on March 19, according to AccuWeather.
See when you can catch a glimpse of the wolf moon by using the Farmers Almanac Moonrise Calculator here.